While there are certain formulas one can follow in an effort to write a hit song, you are never, ever 100% sure that the public will bite. That’s why the recorded music industry has increasing turned to computer analysis of songs to determine all the elements that go into a hit song thereby (theoretically, anyway) decreasing the risk of releasing a stiff. (See Hit Song Science for an example.)
The newest attempt at pre-cogging hits is Hooked, an app developed at the University of Amsterdam and Utrecht University. By exposing volunteers to a random selection of the 2,000 most popular songs of all time, the boffins are hoping to uncover what it is about these songs that make them so appealing.